There are several things that could cause your toilet to make gurgling sounds; a blockage in the toilet or drain for that toilet, a blockage in the vent stack leading up to the roof that may have a nest or leaves in it, or most commonly a main sewer drain blockage. The gurgling sound you hear is from air that escapes backwards into the toilet and is the first sign of a more serious issue occurring and a messy disaster waiting to show itself at the most inopportune time.
A main sewer drain is the line where all the drains in the home connect to and carries all the waste and water out through your property to the city sewer system or to a septic tank buried underground on the property. An obstruction or blockage doesn’t occur overnight. Unfortunately, most people do not even realize they have a blockage until they are doing laundry or running a dishwasher and find a downstairs toilet or tub/shower filling up with dirty water and overflowing all over a bathroom. The reason that happens is because the pipe has become so restricted that when one of the two appliances go into the drain cycle there is a large amount of water trying to make its way down to the city sewer system and the blockage in the main drain causes it all to back up and enter the home from the lowest drain point.
Spring is such a great season and aside from allergies due to all the pollination going on outside, flowers and trees are growing and sprouting their leaves and flowers. But did you know that it also means that the roots for those trees are also growing underground where you cannot see the effects of the new Spring growth?
A possible cause for the main drain line to be clogged could be a belly in the line due to sinking or settling of the ground, a separation in the pipe, or root penetration causing roots to enter the pipe and begin growing in the pipe closing off the diameter of the pipe leading to it eventually closing off completely. Because all of this is occurring underground, the only way to know for sure is wait for the backup to occur in your home or hire a professional with a sewer camera to see what is actually going on down there. If left untreated, roots can grow many feet within the pipe before a backup even occurs.
No matter the cause, never ignore a gurgling toilet. Call a professional plumbing company that has the proper equipment and cameras that can determine the cause before it’s too late and you have a bigger problem on your hands!